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2016 Miss Effingham County Fair Queen Ashley Jamerson is crowned by retiring queen Kristina Neu. Jamerson is the daughter of Greg and Julie Jamerson of Effingham.

Cobblestone Inn and Suites General Manager Matt Ramsey works with front desk clerk Karen Buckels at the new hotel.


Many fire trucks drove in the  fair parade on Sunday, July 31 including this antique one.


Krista McLaren, CPA with Kemper CAP Group, gives an overview of the city's audit during last week's St. Elmo city meeting.


RNA youth members Hadley Hagler, Natalie, Payton, and  Corey Hoopengarner presented food vouchers of $4 each to all local 4-H members who showed there items at the Fayette County fair on July 14. Shown is Natalie Hoopengarner presenting a food voucher to Elsia Beesely.


Meet the News Staff

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   Nathan Scholes         Kailee Ranes          Teresa Carpenter            


Anna Jean Rhodes     Alvin Oliver    Marsha Nolan   Panzi Blackwell         

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Cross-carrying man brings message of love and unity to area Print E-mail
Altamont News - News
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 22 August 2016 13:59

There is no fanfare. No blog or GoFundMe page. But James Anania is spreading his message of love and unity to each individual person he meets along his cross country journey.

Anania, 34, of Los Angeles, is traversing the United States on foot, carrying a cross. Along his journey, as he meets people, he is drawing attention to the causes he finds important—love, unity, sacrifice, rejection of material culture—simply by having conversations about them. Anania travelled through Altamont and St. Elmo on Wednesday, Aug. 17, stopping to rest at the entrance of Ballard Nature Center and spending the night in St. Elmo.

While he identifies as Christian, he said that he chose to carry a cross because it is a broad symbol of love and sacrifice. His primary aim is to bring attention to the ways we as a people are driven apart.

Read more in The Altamont News and St. Elmo Banner!
Jamerson wins Miss Effingham County Fair Queen title Print E-mail
Altamont News - News
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 08 August 2016 12:35

Ashley Jamerson, of Effingham, was crowned as the 2016 Miss Effingham County Fair Queen on Tuesday, Aug. 2.

The pageant featured 14 local contestants, including 2015 Altamont High School graduate Serena Strullmyer, who was voted both the People’s Choice and second runner-up.

Jamerson, who is a student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, claimed the prize after an interview with judges before the pageant, a physical fitness portion, a pop question and oral essay, and a display of evening wear. She discussed her love for and pride in her community.

Jamerson takes over the outgoing queen Kristina Neu and will compete for the state title in January.

She is the daughter of Greg and Julie Jamerson.

Strullmyer, who is a student at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, used her oral essay portion to discuss misconceptions of the farming lifestyle. She is the daughter of Joe and Sherri Strullmyer of rural Farina.

Throughout the pageant, 22 Little Misses took the stage, complete with sashes, tiaras, and flowers. It was not a competition and all received a trophy.

Mill Road Thresherman’s Show fills fairgrounds for 35th year Print E-mail
Altamont News - News
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 01 August 2016 12:48

Farm and implement fans filled the Effingham County Fairgrounds for the 35th annual Mill Road Thresherman’s Show which was held Friday, July 22 through Sunday, July 24.

Friday kicked off with the raising of the flag and a consignment auction at 9 a.m. A corn harvest demonstration was held at 11 a.m., followed by the farm toy show from noon until 6 p.m. A threshing and baling demo was held at 3 p.m.

Music and comedy fans filled the grandstands starting at 6 p.m. for the evening’s entertainment, hosted by local radio personality Greg Sapp. Bluegrass band Big Spike Hammer, country and pop singer Cheyenne Goss, and comedian Tim the Dairy Farmer showed off their talents.

Saturday saw a full schedule of events, with a farm toy show from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Bluegrass music was performed all day, starting at 10 a.m. The horse farming demo and car show began at 9 a.m. The threshing and baling and corn shedding demos were also held in the morning. A parade was followed by pulls, both a pedal pull for youngsters and a horse pull. The night cap was a truck and tractor pull.

On Sunday, a worship service was held at 8 a.m., followed by the farm toy show. Threshing and baling was held at 1 p.m. and the antique tractor pull was held at 2 p.m.

In addition, a petting zoo was open on the weekend and a flea market and craft show was held all three days.

City Board receives report from audits Print E-mail
St. Elmo Banner - news
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 08 August 2016 12:33

The St. Elmo City Board met in regular session on Wednesday, Aug. 3 at City Hall.

Krista McLaren, CPA with Kemper CPA Group, was present to give an overview of the city’s annual audit. She reported a “clean audit opinion.”

When asked by Mayor Ernie Myers to rate the city’s financial situation compared to other small town on a scale from 1-10, McLaren replied, “6 or 7, 7 or 8.”

A deeper look at the audit is taken in a separate story this week.

In other business, the quarterly investment policy report for April, May, and June was approved.

In public works business, Chairman Sandra Mace motioned for the purchase of six fire hydrants from L&J Municipal Supply in the amount of $11,086.70. The motion was approved. A purchase of WWTP blower control panel vents and vent fan with thermostat from Vandeventer Engineering in the amount of $1917.61 plus freight was approved.

Parks Chairman David Watkins informed the board of damage sustained by the exercise equipment at Deken Park during a recent storm. City officials are still looking into filing an insurance claim. Watkins also reported that Lake Nellie would be closed on the weekend of Aug. 6-7 for parking lot work.

Allen Nevergall, chairman of Public Safety, reported that Officer K. Wayne Woods has resigned effective immediately. His resignation was accepted. A Stalker X-Series LIDAR in the amount of $1785 plus shipping was approved, as was the purchase of two Vista HD body cameras in the amount of $2810.

An ordinance approving and authorizing the execution of an intergovernmental agreement by and between the City of St. Elmo and St. Elmo Community Unit School District Number 202 and an ordinance vacating a section of Sixth Street from Ash Street to the western city limits were both approved.

Barker Trucking and Excavating was approved to complete demolition at 419 N. Olive Street at a cost of $11,325.

Sharon Belden, Sandra Mace, and Allen Nevergall were appointed to the Labor Day committee.

St. Elmo schools make hiring moves prior to end of summer break Print E-mail
St. Elmo Banner - news
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 01 August 2016 12:47

The St. Elmo Community Unit School District Number 202 Board of Education met in regular session on Tuesday, July 26. The board approved several personnel and administrative motions aimed at readying the district for the coming school year.

The board members employed Michelle Miller as full-time elementary teacher for next year, in addition to extending a re-employment offer to Lisa Bain as full-time paraprofessional. Marcia Heckert was re-appointed as district treasurer.

Doug Stein was approved as a regular route bus driver for the upcoming year and Lisa Beck was shifted from a regular route to the position of vocational bus driver.

In extracurricular business, Christina Pasley was approved as junior high assistant softball coach for upcoming year.

The resignation of elementary school secretary Sue Harnish was approved effective at the end of July.

Addressing administrative matters, the board authorized Superintendent Deb Philpot to prepare the budget for fiscal year 2017, now that state budget issues have been addressed.

Fiscal year 2017 bids for bread, milk, and fuel were awarded to Aunt Millie’s, Prairie Farms, and South Central FS, respectively.

The elementary school handbook was approved for next year and the board approved the teacher evaluation instrument. The board also approved a contract proposal with St. Elmo Education Association effective Sept. 1, 2016 through Aug. 31, 2018.

The board also approved an interfund loan of funds from the education fund to the tort fund in the amount of $140,000.

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